Hungry for a sale, an agent blankets the neighborhood with Open House signs and then waits eagerly for a bite. Their efforts may drive traffic to their Open House and perhaps even bring the gold prize—a qualified buyer. But the question remains: Did this Open House, while effective, reach its full potential?
Even in this digital age when buyers rely so heavily on the Internet, the open house remains a cornerstone of real-estate sales and prospect marketing. At Weichert, Open Houses are deep rooted in our “people first” philosophy. Statistics published by NAR in 2017 show that 73% of homebuyers visit at least one Open House prior to purchasing.* Weichert open houses, specifically, attracted nearly one million potential buyers last year.** If you have the means to assemble a pool of buyers and sellers in one place where you can directly interact with them and sell them your value vs. your competitors, why wouldn’t you want to make the most of that opportunity?
But as every broker knows, a great open house event requires excellent conversational skills and a positive attitude. But more importantly, for it to be successful, it requires careful preparation, execution and follow-up. The question is whether the full potential of this type of event is being realized by your agents and for you the broker. After all, this isn’t just finding a buyer for the property being held open, but this could help you connect with your next client(s).
If you haven’t recently examined how you and your agents are promoting, conducting and following up on data from open houses, you might want to consider it. As a start, take a few tips from the team at Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. who coach and train brokers across the country every day on best practices for open house management. Let’s focus on how promotion plays a large role in Open House success:
Promoting Your Open House
In the performing arts it is often said that “less is more”, but when promoting your open houses, actually more is more! More signs, more brightly colored balloons, more promotion starting at least a week ahead, and in more places. Traditional methods like postcard mailings and supermarket community board tear off’s should all be already part of your arsenal. Knocking on neighbor’s doors and door hangers are also part of this. The real estate coaches at Weichert teach a philosophy of keeping it personal, so there’s nothing like a phone call or personal note to get a response from the hotter prospects in an agent’s sphere of influence.
But what about the digital world? Promotional strategies that do not fully include digital are leaving behind an increasingly large segment of buyers, especially millennials. Here’s a quick checklist of activities you should consider for promoting your open houses online:
- Feature Open House listings as visual content on the homepage of your brokerage website, which link to the listing on your website.
- Have the agent write a blog for your brokerage website about the home and the open house.
- Promote the blog and the open house on Facebook. Spend a few dollars on Facebook advertising to reach the friends of your followers in the local area, starting about a week before the open house.
- Use the open house listing features available online. Weichert.com, for example, has a robust open house mapping feature that all agents are free to use.
- Put a home listing and open house ad on Craigslist.
- Post the Open house on LinkedIn from the brokerage page. If you are connected to corporate relo folks, make sure you message them directly about it.
- Email Blast! Use your email list or CRM to feature the listing to the many clients and prospects you’ve collected over the years. Send this email about 48 hours prior to the weekend of the event.
- Use text messaging to hit buyers as well for whom you have a mobile number. This is especially effective with millennial aged homebuyers. Hit them at least twice, both before the event, and the morning of.
Use the Open House Management Features of your CRM
Most brokerages employ a real estate CRM of some type, but many just use it to send out invites or enter contact data for only the hottest prospects. If your agents are guilty of this, or your CRM lacks robust features around open house management, you may be leaving money on the table. Weichert, for example, has a proprietary CRM which provides an open house management environment that is simple to use before and after the Open House for both promotion and follow up. Weichert also has an Open House sign in tool that feeds the CRM for follow up by agents.
Contacts can be tagged for immediate or subsequent follow up and all contacts are instantly available to the agent for future marketing initiatives. Reminders and easily customizable email templates and graphics round out the capabilities that diligent associates will use to improve the reach of this open house, and all future open houses.
Good Open House Promotion Pays Off
Open Houses require a lot of planning, but if you do it right, the upside is tremendous. We can tell you from experience, a comprehensive, energetic and positive attitude toward open houses and having a structured system of executing them makes all the difference. The opportunity is there, you just need to know how to harness it. For more information on how Weichert gives brokerages a winning edge in all aspects of real estate, call our team at 877-567-3350 or visit our website at www.weichertfranchise.com
*2017 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Buyers and Sellers.
**Based on a private study by Weichert, Realtors.